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Frankie Stevens  MNZM

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Full Name:  Francis Donald McKechnie Stevenson
Born:  1950
Hometown:  Wellington
Instruments Played:  Vocals, Guitar
Career Began:  1962
Groups:  Southern Auroras, Castaways
Record Labels:  HMV, CBS, Polydor, Magnet, M.A.M., York, Magnet
First Record:  My Elusive Dreams (1969)
Awards:  MNZM 2005
:
Website:  www.sergent.com.au/music/frankiestevens.html
Website:  www.audioculture.co.nz/people/frankie-stevens

  Award presented 2009

In 1966, at the age of 16, Frankie Stevens left Upper Hutt behind and joined expat group Peter Nelson and The Castaways in Sydney.  Four years later Stevens moved to London, where he released 12 singles during the 1970s and performed in the UK, Europe, Las Vegas, Hawaii and Canada.  Frankie finished the decade as the headliner at Honolulu's Royal Hawaiian Hotel, just as his teenage brother Jon, was enjoying two No.1 records back-to-back in New Zealand.  At Heretaunga College, and 14 years of age, Frankie joined a school band formed by Martin Hope and Wayne Mason.  My Hawaii contract ended about 1981," says Stevens. "The whole scene was changing as independent travellers were starting to make an impact and the tour companies were not getting the numbers to fill the showrooms."  1976 saw him move to Honolulu, Hawaii, where for the next 5 years he appeared in his own show for 8 months of the year at the magnificent Royal Hawaiian Hotel in the beautiful Monarch Showroom.  He enjoyed his time at the famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel, aka The Pink Palace, agaudy pink beachfront hotel which has featured in numerous movies since 1931 and TV shows from Charlie's Angels (1977) to Mad Men (2013).  In 1972, an opportunity arose for Frankie to join what was regarded at the time as New Zealand's best International show band, Mary and the Maoris, who were previously known as the Maori Hi Five. The group was starring in their own show at the Nassau Beach Hotel in the Bahamas, and Frankie regards this as one of the most entertainment learning experiences of his career. From there, they moved onto the Sheraton Hotel and Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico for an 8 month season.

 

London 1971


With The Castaways and Del Shannon


January 1970


1970

 

In 1982 Stevens moved back to New Zealand to live, and he has resided in his homeland since then.  New Zealand is where he once owned and operated one of New Zealand's major Nightclub Restaurants, Chips.  This gave him an opportunity to learn and utilise different skills, while at the same time continuing to sing, and assist in raising two young children.  He also managed to fit in his own TV series for TVNZ as well as trips to Japan, Australia, and the USA.  In 1994, Stevens was invited to appear in Harry M Miller's New Zealand Touring Theatre production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" in the role of the High Priest Caiaphas.

 

Royal Hawaiian Hotel 1979


 


2007


 


Caiaphas (Jesus Christ Superstar)